Tag Archives: poetry

To Water

Well, we’ve just got done with Robbie Burns Day, a celebration of the famous Scottish poet’s birthday. While some of you readers are recovering from excessive haggis intake, I’d like to remind you of two of the many poems he wrote: To a Mouse and To a Louse.

Robbie Burns’ poems begin very down to earth and then leap up into the heights of reflection. Since a poet of his stature found it seemly to write lofty poems about humble topics, I thought I would try writing a poem as well. Mine is free verse and nothing rhymes and no one can stop me now.

In deciding what topic or thing or element to honor with a poem, I looked around to see what was common to all our lives, what I (and maybe most of us) overlook, and yet, if I (we) reflected on it for a moment, would say: ‘Oh, what a good thing for all the world that this excellent thing exists. Now I appreciate it more than ever.’ Which I’ll bet Robbie’s 18th Century audience never said about the mouse or the louse. Anyway, here it is:

To Water

Ah, what clear and cool liquid you are as you pour from the tap

Millions of beings on our beautiful planet long to hold out their hands to you, scoop you up, nestle you in the palms of their cupped hands and kiss you

You who are sacred

You who are everywhere—so everywhere that people forget who you are and think you will always be there, fresh and clean and pure

How beautiful you are to swim through, your touch gentle on my skin as you let me pass by

O Water… thank you for your healing presence and your clear and simple essence

Without you, we would be nothing.

* * * * * *

Note: if you would like to join me in supporting successful efforts for more people to have access to clean water, take a look at Matt Damon’s interview on water (CNBC) in October 2012. He is a co-founder of Water.org

Theresa Scott is a writer who lives in the Pacific Northwest where a lot of water pours from the sky. You can read more of her writing at http://www.theresascott.com

Where Were You … ? by Valerie J. Patterson

“TRUE! –nervous –very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am; but why will you say that I am mad? The disease had sharpened my senses –not destroyed –not dulled them. Above all was the sense of hearing acute. I heard all things in the heaven and in the earth. I heard many things in hell. How, then, am I mad? Hearken! and observe how healthily –how calmly I can tell you the whole story.”  An excerpt from  The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe, 1843

Where were you when you first read or had read to you this fantastic short fiction by the grandfather of American Horror Fiction?  I was in 7th grade and I instantly fell in love with the intense imagery of Poe.  He became my writing hero.  I read everything I could–even if it wasn’t required reading for my Advance Placement English courses.  Later, when I taught English to home-bound students, I introduced them to Edgar Allan Poe–not just his fiction but also his poetry, which is just as incredible as his macabre fiction.

Poe’s life was incredibly tragic.  He was raised by an apathetic, cold, unloving foster father after he was orphaned when his mother died shortly after his father abandoned them.  In the end, it’s been written that he became an alcoholic and died in the street.  The success of being a writer and a poet evaded him, recognition not coming until well after his death.

Poe was a master at his craft.  He drew fantastic paintings with well chosen words.  The images his stories and poems created stuck with me long, long after reading them.

The Tell-Tale Heart was my first introduction to Poe.  It began a love affair with his work that continues today.  Oddly, his is the only macabre I read.  The others–like Stephen King–pale in comparison.  I won’t even buy them.  To me, it’s not about the gore.  It’s about the words and the images they create.  It’s about the words and the setting they create.  It’s about the words and the feelings they create.

It’s about the words!

Where were you when you had your first encounter with Poe?  Or your favorite author?  Why was it memorable?


I thought I’d leave you all with a little chuckle …

Twas the night of Halloween
And all through the town
Not a Lavada Dee nor a Laurie
Could even be found.

Tricia in her cape and
Jan in her gown
Looked hither and yonder
All through a quiet town.

The silence was eerie
The October weather dreary
At the end of their search
They both were rather weary.

On a dead-end street
On the wrong side of town
They passed the cemetery gates
Which were guarded by a clown.

The music was blaring
It was turned up real loud
I swear I saw Nancy
Wearing a shroud

Everyone entered the gates
Past the clown they did dash
To see Jillian and Jamie
Doing that Monster Mash.

Off to the side near a bramble bush strand
Stood Janette and Marion
Doing their version
Of the dance the CanCan!

They stopped when they saw us
And froze on the spot
Suddenly church bells were ringing
It was twelve on the dot.

The moon rose up brightly
And on a tombstone sat a cat
Michal took off running
And Lavada flew off with a bat.

The clown at the gate
Was clean out of sight
No one would believe us
If told what we saw that night.

If your name wasn’t mentioned
It wasn’t a slight
It’s hard to fit in everybody
And still have it sound right!

Happy Halloween
To all of you here
Maybe I’ll write a better poem
This time next year!